's highly-anticipated opener in the Western Athletic Conference softball tournament nearly ended in disaster. Boise State
rocked the Broncos for four runs in each of the first two innings, exploding to an 8-0 lead. Host New Mexico State then proceeded to erase the eight-run deficit and post a thrilling 9-8 win to advance to the second round. Boise State
, who had been waiting at home all this time for the Broncos to arrive in New Mexico State , opened with a flurry. Shortstop Kylie Randall and Centerfielder Kandis Jones opened the game with singles. Tiare Jennings fouled out and Las Cruces chose to intentionally walk Aggie star Hoku Nohara to load the bases. Ashley Maroda ruined those plans by promptly doubling in two. Angie Ortega followed with an RBI single of her own and after a Tiffany Autry popup, Brittany Clifton singled in Maroda to make it 4-0, Boise State . New Mexico State
The Aggies poured it on in the second frame with four more runs aided significantly by three Bronco errors.
led 8-0 and the home crowd was going wild. New Mexico State
rebounded. Boise State
Holly Bourke doubled to left to get the Broncos started in the bottom half of the second. Pitcher Allie Crump singled and both were brought hope thanks to a three-run homer by Kelly Sweeney. Tazz Weatherly made it back-to-back with a solo shot of her own and four runs were on the scoreboard for the Broncos.
Meanwhile, reliever Lela Work mowed down nine consecutive Aggies in the third, fourth and fifth to give her team a chance to come back. They did.
Christina Capobianco, who belted
's first-ever grand slam last week, hit another blast in the fifth. Boise State
The Broncos trailed 8-5 entering the sixth inning but were not to be denied. Leftfielder Kellie Caplan hit a shot to left center for a double. Jessica Hanna doubled to plate Caplan and move the Lady Broncos within two. After Torrey Schroeder took over on the mound for the Aggies, Kathy Cox blasted a two-run homer to tie the game at 8.
Vanessa Alvarez walked and moved to second on a Capobianco single. Bourke flied out to left, but Work's grounder enabled both runners to advance. A walk to Sweeney loaded the bases and Weatherly took one for the team, getting hit by a Schroeder pitch. Alvarez scored what turned out to be the winning run for the Broncos.
Work struck out two Aggies in the seventh to earn the win. She was phenomenal in relief, allowing just one hit and one walk in five innings while striking out six. Her clutch pitching and the tenacity of the entire Bronco team sent
against #2-seed Boise State tomorrow afternoon. That contest will begin at Mountain time. Fresno State
wins, they are assured to worse than third in the tournament. If Boise State wins, the Broncos must come back and win two more games to get at least third. BroncoSports.com will have live audio of the game and WACSports.com will televise the game. Fresno State
Good luck to the Lady Broncos!!